The National Housing Development Survey confirms the development of a two speed residential property market, according to the Construction Industry Federation (CIF).  The findings of the report show a distinct comparison between the level of vacant housing in metropolitan and surrounding areas when compared with more rural locations.

Areas such as Waterford City, Limerick City, Galway City and Dublin City show vacant housing of only 2 – 7 per 1,000 households in these areas.  In counties Laois, Roscommon, Sligo, Cavan, Longford and Leitrim the vacancy levels rise from 17 – 35 per 1,000 households.

Speaking following the publication of the report, CIF Director of Housing, Hubert Fitzpatrick said, “What we’re seeing is a clear indication of a two speed residential property market developing.  There are low levels of vacant residential property in urban areas and the surrounding counties.  Oversupply is a far more distinct problem in rural areas such as Cavan, Longford, Sligo, Roscommon and Leitrim.

“This variation in supply will become even more apparent in the short to medium term as new house building activity has hit an all time low.  Only 8,000 units are expected to be completed this year, the lowest since the records began in 1970.

“According to the recent population and migration report by the CSO the overall population increase of 0.2 per cent was unevenly distributed across the regions, with the Mid-East region showing the strongest growth at 1.2 per cent and the Border showing the largest decrease of 0.9 per cent. If we overlay the CSO’s population growth and decline figures with the findings from the National Housing Development Survey, a very stark picture of the state of the Irish housing market emerges.

“The ESRI has predicted that 15,000 – 20,000 new housing units will be required each year to meet our demographic requirements.  The greatest demand will be in the urban areas, where the level of available supply is at a relatively low level.  If this trend continues it will not be long before there is a shortage of new housing units in certain urban areas, particularly Dublin, subject to the recovery of market sentiment and viable mortgage availability.

“Overall the findings of this report show that good progress has been made by all stakeholders on many developments, both in terms of bringing completed homes into use and in resolving practical construction concerns where completion works had stalled,” Mr. Fitzpatrick concluded.